Jan 302018
 

Killer Choice
Berkley (January 30, 2018)
Suspense Thriller
Setting – Michigan
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399586408
Kindle ASIN: B0722TJD9G

 

 

The electrifying debut thriller that asks the question: To save the one you love, is there any price you wouldn’t pay?
 
His wife is sick.
He needs $200,000 to save her.
A mysterious man offers to give him the money with just one catch: He has to murder someone to get it.
 
Gary Foster’s life is finally heading in the right direction. After years of trying, his wife, Beth, is pregnant, and he recently opened a business with his brother. But one phone call changes everything…

After collapsing suddenly, Beth has been rushed to the hospital. Tests reveal a devastating diagnosis: an inoperable brain tumor. Their only hope is an expensive experimental treatment available abroad, with a cost that’s out of their reach. And Beth’s time is running out…

Then a strange man approaches Gary and offers the money he needs, on one condition: that he kill someone, no questions asked. End one life to save another.

In this nail-biting debut novel of domestic suspense, one man makes a choice that forces him to confront the darkest reaches of his soul and betray those closest to him. As he’s swept up in a nightmare of escalating violence, he must question his own morality—and determine just how far he’s willing to go to save the woman he loves.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Beth has glioblastoma, the same kind of cancer as John McCain has and Beau Biden had. But for Beth there is a cure, she just needs to have her baby, fly to Germany and have $200,000 to pay for the clinical trial care and other expenses. Beth and her friends start a funding page and calling friends and family. Her husband Gary receives a phone call offering him the full amount but he has to kill someone. Yes, it is a Killer Choice, but he decides to do it.

There was something just really off to me about Gary. Yes, he wanted to do anything to save his wife, and clearly, he was not thinking straight, but the way he accepted the offer and carried the act out just didn’t hold water for me. He came across to me as a very weak individual. He rubbed me the wrong way from the start and by the finish I really disliked this character.

The plot follows the murder and the aftermath.  The viewpoint shifts between Gary and Otto, the drug dealer. After a slow start, the story picks up the pace but to me, some of it was pretty predictable. There was one moment I was totally shocked by an occurrence and near the end, things got pretty exciting.

Beth’s part is the story was minimal and never really delved into her treatment or the birth of her child. There could have been added drama here. She never became real to me. Maybe as a woman reading this story I need more of this to become engaged by her character.

Hunt has been compared to Harlan Coben, I am a huge fan of Harlan Coben, so I truly expected to love this story, but for me, it just missed the mark.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

#FlashbackFriday – #ReviewRewind / #Giveaway – An Unhappy Medium by Dawn Eastman

 Flashback Friday, Giveaways  Comments Off on #FlashbackFriday – #ReviewRewind / #Giveaway – An Unhappy Medium by Dawn Eastman
Dec 082017
 

On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

Yes, folks, I did it again, scheduled myself to read so many new ones I didn’t get a book read for #FlashbackFriday today. I am hoping to squeeze in at least 2 more flashback books before the year ends. So this week I have a Review Rewind for you of a book that made by Best Reads List of 2016. It also happens to be the last book in this series 🙁

an unhappy medium
An Unhappy Medium
(A Family Fortune Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
4th in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (April 5, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282809
E-Book – ASIN: B011IUSQXI
goodreads-badge-add-plus

 

 

Former cop and novice psychic Clyde Fortune finds herself in a race for justice when a Zombie Fun Run turns deadly…
 
All of Crystal Haven, Michigan, is psyching up to participate in a Zombie Fun Run organized by Clyde’s nephew Seth, but Clyde is fretful about the undead festivities. For one thing, her sister, Grace, has unexpectedly returned to town after fifteen years. For another, Clyde has the nagging feeling that something is about to go wrong…

When one of the zombie runners is found murdered and then Grace disappears, Clyde realizes her grim premonition is dead-on. Now, she and her police detective boyfriend Mac must find a ghoulish murderer before someone points the finger at Grace. And when a tangled web of family secrets and old grudges combines with a mysterious case of stolen diamonds, even someone as quick-witted as Clyde might not be able to outrun a killer…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We have come a long way with these characters and in this installment Clyde’s sister, Grace, and her husband, Paul, come to Crystal Haven for a visit. This is the first time in fifteen years that Grace has returned. She didn’t want anything to do with the psychic abilities of her family even though she has an ability herself that she uses daily. That ability may be why she has come home. Of course, seeing her son Seth, is always a bonus.

They quickly get caught up in a town celebration that includes a Zombie Fun Run. This is the 2nd book I have read recently that has included a zombie event in a town celebration. Zombies aren’t really my thing but since these were costume events and no actual zombies were featured so I enjoyed it quite a bit.

When the fun run ends, the partying begins for all but one of the participants. One of the runners didn’t show up at the party and was found murdered in the woods. Grace has only been in town a couple of days and someone decides she or Paul could be the murderer/s. With Mac on the police department Clyde knows he will prove their innocence, but it doesn’t stop her for doing a little investigating too.

This story is absolutely fantastic! So much happens within these pages and I don’t want to give anything away.

Dawn Eastman has written a very captivating mystery featuring the characters we have grown to love. I have my reservations about Grace and Paul but their situation is pretty precarious so that may tilt the scales more in their favor. Clyde’s family is a little over the top. I love Aunt Vi. Sometimes I want to hug her and other times I want to lock her in the basement and throw away the key. Mac handles her much better than I ever could. The Fortune Family is not your normal Midwest family but Mac loves Clyde so her family and all their shenanigans are part of the package. Yes, even when they find a dead body or try to find some “lost” diamonds.

The paranormal aspect was a little more present in this story as Clyde tries to refine her gift. It has become more interesting as she learns her capabilities.

Each of these stories is even better than the last. This is one of my favorite books I have read this year. I highly recommend the entire series.

paradise 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About This Author

Dawn Eastman is the national bestselling author of Pall in the Family, the first book in the Family Fortune Mystery Series. She lived in Michigan for many years in a house full of animals, unusual people, and laughter. She now lives in Iowa with her husband, son, daughter, and one extremely bossy small dog.

Author Links

Webpage – Facebook – Goodreads

Twitter – @DawnAEastman

Dawn does have a new tradional mystery being released December 12th.

GIVEAWAY
 I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

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something you like here and become a follower.

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CLICK HERE FOR ENTRY FORM

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Nov 302017
 

The Plot Is Murder (Mystery Bookshop)
Cozy Mystery
1st in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (November 28, 2017)
Paperback: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496711816
Kindle ASIN: B06XFBYLHC

 

 

The small town of North Harbor on the shores of Lake Michigan is about to have a new mystery bookstore. But before the first customer can browse its shelves, the store’s owner is suspected of her own murder plot . . . 
 
Samantha Washington has dreamed of owning her own mystery bookstore for as long as she can remember. And as she prepares for the store’s grand opening, she’s also realizing another dream—penning a cozy mystery set in England between the wars. While Samantha hires employees and fills the shelves with the latest mysteries, quick-witted Lady Penelope Marsh, long-overshadowed by her beautiful sister Daphne, refuses to lose the besotted Victor Carlston to her sibling’s charms. When one of Daphne’s suitors is murdered in a maze, Penelope steps in to solve the labyrinthine puzzle and win Victor.

But as Samantha indulges her imagination, the unimaginable happens in real life. A shady realtor turns up dead in her backyard, and the police suspect her—after all, the owner of a mystery bookstore might know a thing or two about murder. Aided by her feisty grandmother and an enthusiastic ensemble of colorful retirees, Samantha is determined to close the case before she opens her store. But will she live to conclude her own story when the killer has a revised ending in mind for her?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Who doesn’t love a mystery within a mystery?

Samantha Washington has lost her husband and she is a little apprehensive about following her dreams on her own. She has purchased an old warehouse and turned it not only into her home but the lower level is now her mystery bookstore. That was her first dream, the second is to become a cozy mystery author. She not sure if she will let anyone read it, but she has started a story set in England about two sisters, their suitors, and a murder. She can escape into her writing when the real world gets to be a little too much. That’s exactly what happens when her realtor is found dead in her backyard. She had hoped the only murders she would uncover would be within the pages of the books on her shelves or those she wrote about in her own mysteries. Now the police believe she killed someone in real life, especially after reading her manuscript. She now needs to solve both a fictional murder and a real murder? If she doesn’t, all her dreams could go up in smoke.

I really like Samantha. She is courageous enough to follow her dreams while still grieving for her husband. She has a warm and helpful attitude, both in the way she treats her customers but even more so by who she hires to work with her at the bookstore. She has a clever imagination that shines in her writing. And she is a strong woman, who I believe takes after her grandmother. She also has two lovable dogs.

Her grandmother, Nana Joe, moves right in when she fears Samantha may be in danger. She is a spunky woman and comes with a group of friends that will have you laughing out loud. Don’t take these Senior Sleuths for granted.  They have connections all over town and they try to help Samantha figure out who killed the wayward realtor. I wish I had half their energy.

Ms. Burns has created a very eclectic group of characters. I enjoyed getting to know all of them and their dialogue was top notch. She also created an interesting group of characters for Samantha’s cozy mystery.

Both mysteries are very well written and nicely plotted. At first, I was a little unsure about the second story interrupting the first, but it then hit a nice rhythm of back and forth and flowed naturally. I suppose each story could be called a novella by their length, but neither felt rushed or like anything was missing. I hope they both become long-running series.

Both the setting in Michigan and England were well presented. From the floor to the ceiling in the Market Street Mysteries Bookstore to the gardens outside Marsh estate, all were easily envisioned in my mind.

This is V.M. Burns first cozy mystery and she is off to a fantastic start. It is hard enough to write one story full of twists and turns but she gives us two. I want to get to know all these characters better and am excited to see what kind of trouble they get into next. Read Herring Hunt will be released April 24, 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

V.M. Burns was born and raised in South Bend, Indiana. She currently resides in Tennessee with her two poodles, Coco and Cash. Valerie is a member of Mystery Writers of America and a lifetime member of Sisters in Crime. Readers can visit her website at vmburns.com.

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End December 14, 2017, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Nov 172017
 


This is a very special Flashback Friday.
This is one of my favorite series!
The mass market paperback of The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha was released this month
and JoAnna Carl has dropped by for a visit.

Guest Post By JoAnna Carl
(Provided by Publicist)

Now and then I get an invitation to speak, and I nearly always pick the topic “Fun with Research.”

That’s because I think research is truly important to the mystery story, and because I always have fun doing it. Especially doing research about chocolate.

The part about research being important to the mystery story is easy to see. If the clues and the background in a mystery are not accurate, the whole thing becomes unbelievable, and nobody wants to read it.

The part about research being fun results from of my usual method of finding things out. I just ask somebody. I find somebody who knows and ask them. Talking to people is always fun.

I’ve never had anybody refuse to answer a question. I’ll admit that I often pick the subjects for clues in my books because I know someone who will help me out.

This research method led to the creation of the Chocoholic books. An editor asked me to write a proposal for a cozy, and the coziest background I could think of was chocolate. Besides, I just happened to have a daughter who was working for a chocolate company. Duh? Who else can you call at ten o’clock at night and ask the melting point of chocolate?

The editor also liked the idea. Then one problem arose. The Chocoholic books were classified as “Culinary” mysteries, and Culinary mysteries usually have recipes. But my editor and I thought the type of high quality chocolate in the books was not ideal for the typical household cook. The editor suggested “Lore” instead – interesting facts about chocolate.

And when it came to writing the “Lore” parts of the Chocoholic books – well, my talented and practical daughter wasn’t going to cut it even if she was in the chocolate business. I had to find somebody with more authority than a bright and intelligent young woman who was basically a business manager. (If this seems familiar, it’s because my detective, Lee Woodyard, through sixteen books has held a job similar to the one my daughter had in those days. As a fictional character, by the way, Lee is not a lot like that particularly daughter, except that they’re both awfully nice people.)

So for Lore research I found I had to read books. I didn’t mind that. It gives me an excuse to learn about one of my favorite topics: chocolate. Its history and science are fascinating.

The Spanish explored the New World looking for gold, for example, but chocolate may have eventually been a more valuable find.

Of course, in those days the chocolate bar had not been invented. Chocolate was only a drink. One tale that I find interesting is that in Spain young women began to have their maids bring them chocolate during mass, since drinking it was recommended to fight feelings of weakness. (We all know how weak a young girl can feel in church.) When a priest who opposed this practice died under mysterious circumstances, scandal ensued.

Now there’s a motive I definitely couldn’t think of on my own.

And for years churchmen argued over whether chocolate was a food or a drink. Could it be drunk during Lent?

Another religious group involved with chocolate was the Quakers. A bunch of English businessmen, all Quakers, supported early efforts to mechanize the manufacture of chocolate and were prominent in its manufacture and sale. They demanded a high moral code for their industry, even insisting on good treatment for workers in the tropical countries where chocolate was grown. Today’s Fair Trade movement probably thinks it came up with something new, but those Quaker businessmen had the same basic idea.

In England, one of the group, Cadbury’s, even established a model town to house its workers. Interestingly, Milton Hershey did the same thing during the next century in Pennsylvania. Who would have thought that chocolate could be linked to a social conscience?

A lot of the people of chocolate history are fascinating, from the Marquis de Sade to Forrest Mars. Cardinal Richelieu is even sometimes given credit for introducing chocolate to France. Yes, that was the guy who according to the novelist Dumas gave so much trouble to Anne of Austria and the Three Musketeers. The cardinal supposedly drank chocolate for medicinal reasons.

The science of chocolate has an interesting history as well. For several centuries chocolate was promoted as a medicine or an aid to good health.

Even today chocolate has been cited as being good for lowering blood pressure, for example. As for the sugar that often accompanies chocolate – well, it gets a different report.

Joe and Teresa Graedon, who write The Peoples Pharmacy column carried by many newspapers, offer a pamphlet on the health benefits and threats of chocolate – including recipes – that even a scientific dummy like me can understand.

For the history of chocolate my main source is The True History of Chocolate by Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe.

But researching chocolate is fascinating to me, and not just because I’m an absolute freak for the stuff. Writing about it gives me a built-in excuse to visit any chocolate shop I pass. There’s the one in Washington D.C. where I first saw chocolate-covered bacon. There’s the chocolate garden in Michigan, with chocolate-colored plants. There’s the store in Lawton, Oklahoma, that stocks every kind of old-fashioned chocolate bar. And I get a specialty catalog that even offers Walnettos. You have to be old – like me – to remember Walnettos. They’re not chocolate, but still good. And they take me right back to my childhood.

I may have to quit writing and go buy myself a Cherry Mash.

Yum, yum!

~Joanna

Thank you JoAnna for visiting today!

I reviewed the hardcover version of this book last year.

the-chocolate-bunny-brouhaha
The Chocolate Bunny Brouhaha
(Chocoholic Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
16th in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
Published by Berkley (November 1, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451473820
E-Book ASIN: B01BK0SQEU
goodreads-badge-add-plusShop Indie Bookstores

 

From the national bestselling author of The Chocolate Falcon Fraud comes an Easter candy caper featuring chocolatiers Lee Woodyard and her Aunt Nettie, and a killer who’s hopping mad…

The approach of Easter means a rush of business at TenHuis Chocolade, and Lee  and her Aunt Nettie need all the help they can get to make their famous chocolate bunnies. Unfortunately, new hire Bunny Birdsong is a clutzy basketcase dropping everything she picks up. But to Lee’s surprise, she’s a whiz with computers and fixing the store’s website so they decide to keep her.

However, Bunny receives a few visitors they could do without: her soon to be ex-husband Beau, his wealthy aunt Abigail, and his new girlfriend and her brother all descend on the shop one day and have a bitter argument. Lee hopes they can find a peaceful way to settle their dispute and not bring any more trouble to TenHuis. But when Abigail’s body is discovered in the vacant store next door, it’s clear to Lee there’s a bad egg in her midst. Now she’s on the hunt to find out who it is…

Includes tasty chocolate trivia! 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It’s all about the BUNNIES! TenHuis Chocolade is getting ready for Easter with plenty of bunnies on order. The also have a Bunny on the staff, Bunny Birdsong. She seems to be an accident looking for a place to happen, but she does have her talents and Lee finally finds out what those are. Both are surprised when her ex’s aunt shows up at the shop, soon followed by the ex himself with his new girlfriend. A little drama in the sales area that Lee quickly tries to handle. When the aunt becomes the latest murder victim in Warner Pier it isn’t good for “anybunny”. Disruption in the shop has everyone on edge and Bunny on the top of the suspect list means Lee has a basket full of trouble. She is hopping into the investigation to find the real killer so everyone can get back to making all those tasty holiday chocolates we all love.

This is a perfect “EGGSCAPE”. My senses skipped right over Christmas to spring and Easter the minute I started reading. The expansion of TenHuis Chocolade continues with just a little pause for the police to collect their evidence. Lee and her Aunt Nettie are doing their best to keep all the workers and employees focused on their jobs while they and Police Chief Hogan focus on the murder.

JoAnna Carl’s stories never disappoint. I jump right in and they brighten my day. I love the characters, I love the setting and I love the chocolate! Don’t let the number of pages in this book fool you. It is a fantastic cozy mystery that will have you laughing out loud and then on the edge of your seat. So well written and plotted precisely, it has an excellent flow. Family, romance, humor, mystery, everything in the right proportions. Ms. Carl tells a top-notch story. I also enjoy the trivia she includes throughout the book.

Think this series is too far along to jump into, it’s not. The author gives you enough detail without revealing or spoiling anything from previous books in the series. Try one and you are going to want to read them all. You just may want to have some chocolate in the house because this book will have you craving a truffle or 2.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

To find out more about JoAnna Carl visit her webpage here.

GIVEAWAY
Thank to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away! 

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

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Leave a comment for JoAnna and earn 5 Bonus Entries!

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If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
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Contest Will Ends December 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Oct 072017
 


Familiar Motives (A Witch’s Cat Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
3rd in Series
Berkley (October 3, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476593
Kindle ASIN: B01NCU0P7X

A new witch and her feline familiar get their fifteen minutes of fame in this enchanting mystery in the national bestselling series…

After learning that she comes from a family of witches—and adopting a familiar named Alistair—artist Annabelle Britton has made beautiful Portsmouth, New Hampshire, her home. Together with her coven, this good witch is trying to put a stop to magic and murder most foul.

When Anna takes Alistair to see local veterinarian Ramona Forsythe, they meet the most famous cat in town: Ruby the Attitude Cat, spokes-feline for a pet food brand. But then Ramona turns up dead, and Ruby goes missing. It seems like the murderer used magical means, so it’s up to Anna and Alistair to catch a killer and cat-napper as only a canny cat can.

You can Like Delia James on Facebook here and visit her webpage here.


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.
Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End October 21, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Aug 292017
 

Oh, Fudge! (A Candy-coated Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (August 29, 2017) – TODAY
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496701640
Kindle ASIN: B01MYVZULE

 

 

Life is always sweet in Allie McMurphy’s delectable fudge shop. But murder can make things unpleasantly sticky . . .

A DEADLY CONFECTION
 
After Allie inherited her family’s McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, cousin Tori moved off to California in a bitter huff, and the two haven’t spoken since. So to have her cousin reappear on Mackinac Island without warning is a big surprise—but not as surprising as finding her standing over a dead woman impaled with a garden spade in the Mackinac Butterfly House. Butterflies may be free, but Tori won’t be for much longer—unless the cousins can bury the hatchet and work together to catch a killer who’s taken flight. Because when it comes to family, blood is thicker than fudge . . .

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have never been to Mackinac Island, it is a place on my travel bucket list. As soon as I finished this book I Googled Mackinac Island Butterfly House. It sounds like a delightful place to visit and a perfect place for a fictional murder. That’s were Allie finds her cousin Tori with her hand on a garden spade stuck into the chest of a woman. Allie has not seen Tori in years and was not expecting her to come to the island. Tori was not happy when Allie inherited the McMurphy but Allie knows she isn’t a killer. It will take more than fudge to bring these girls together but they are going to have to put their feud aside and work together to find the real killer or Tori will be saying more than “Oh Fudge!”

Each and every character in this story just shines. From the staff at McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop to those at Gossip Central, I mean the Senior Center, they all have a part to play in clearing Tori’s name and catching the real killer. At the same time plans are underway for Frances and  Mr. Devaney’s wedding. Allie’s romance has hit a rough patch but it may be time to shake things up a bit.

There is always something happening and the main plots and subplots are blended so nicely. The author’s descriptive writing style takes us right into the action. Over the course of this series I have the island so clearly pictured in my mind, if I do ever get there for a visit it will be strange for these characters not to be there. 🙂 There were a couple of timeline issues in my advance copy but I am sure they were cleared up in the published story.

The other thing the author describes well is how the fudge is made and she has included recipes in the book too. My problem is that I want fudge and lots of it while reading the story so I need to plan ahead much better by sneaking a peek at the recipes first or stock up on fudge from a closer outlet.

Nancy Coco has created wonderful characters encased in a puzzling mystery all set in a perfect place to escape. A yummy story all the way around.

perfect 2016

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Nancy Coco/Nancy J. Parra and her books on her webpage here

Written as Nancy J. Parra

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to giveaway!  

Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.

Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 12 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Aug 052017
 


Wrong Side of the Paw
(A Bookmobile Cat Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Setting – Michigan
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (July 25, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451476562
Kindle ASIN: B01N8OIZDF

As Laurie Cass continues the national bestselling Bookmobile Cat mystery series, librarian Minnie Hamilton is happy to take her bookmobile for a spin with her rescue cat, Eddie—but her tenacious tabby always seems to find trouble…

As the bookmobile rolls along the hills of Chilson, Michigan, Minnie and Eddie spread good cheer and good reads. But when her faithful feline finds his way into the middle of a murder, Minnie is there, like any good librarian, to check it out.

Eddie turns a routine bookmobile stop into anything but when he makes a quick escape and hops into a pickup truck…with a dead body in the flatbed. The friendly local lawyer who was driving the pickup falls under suspicion. But Minnie and Eddie think there’s more to this case than meets the eye, and the dynamic duo sets out to leave no page unturned.

About The Author

Laurie Cass grew up in Michigan and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in the 80’s with a (mostly unused) Bachelor of Science degree in geology. She and her husband live on a lake in northwest lower Michigan. When Laurie isn’t writing, she’s working at her day job, reading, yanking weeds out of her garden, or doing some variety of skiing. Find out more on her webpage here and sign up for her Newsletter.

Written as Laura Allen

GIVEAWAY

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Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Jul 122017
 


I love it when Peg Cochran drops by for a visit!

The Mysteries of the Writing Process
By Peg Cochran

(Guest Post Provided by Publicist)

Readers have expressed an interest in the “writing process.” Each writer’s process is probably as unique as his or her fingerprints, but this is mine.

For my mystery series, I already have some characters in place—protagonist, detective and other regular cast members. But what I need is a victim and a murderer! I start with the victim—the person can seem like the last person anyone would want to murder or they can be very unlikeable. But whichever way I go, I need to surround them with characters who have specific reasons for wanting them dead.

To come up with the victim, motive and suspects, I usually “think out loud” on paper. On the computer—writing longhand always ends up making my shoulder hurt because I tend to grip the pen too tightly! Always have.

I write down all my thoughts just as they occur to me—no censoring my thoughts or backspacing to erase them. Here is an example from my notes—some plot musings that never made it into the book…or at least not that book!

He’s receiving stolen goods—saffron or caviar or something. Why would he be a victim? Maybe this isn’t the real reason he’s killed. Just another red herring. Maybe the goods are meant to be passed to someone else and he double crosses them. He’s a partner with somebody. Or someone paid him to move the goods and he steals them instead. Has to be someone local.

It’s probably hard to believe, but those ramblings eventually coalesce into a plot!

I try to outline…I want to outline…but often I am so excited to get started on the story that I don’t. I don’t sail off blindly though, I have to have my “plot points” – what happens at the end of the first act, at the midpoint (big dramatic happening that changes everything), end of second act, black moment (all is lost!) and the ending.

At some point, I end up with a completed book! And it seems like a miracle each time!

~Peg

About The Author

Mystery writing lets Peg indulge her curiosity under the guise of “work” (aka research). As a kid, she read the entire set of children’s encyclopedias her parents gave her and has been known to read the dictionary. She put pen to paper at age seven when she wrote plays and forced her cousins to perform them at Christmas dinner. She switched to mysteries when she discovered the perfect hiding place for a body down the street from her house.

When she’s not writing, she spends her time reading, cooking, spoiling her granddaughter and checking her book’s stats on Amazon.

A former Jersey girl, Peg now resides in Michigan with her husband and Westhighland white terrier, Reg. She is the author of the Sweet Nothings Lingerie series (written as Meg London), the Gourmet De-Lite series, the Lucille series and now the Cranberry Cove series. Her newest series, the Farmer’s Daughter, debuted with No Farm, No Foul in September 2016. Sowed to Death is available now.





Written as Meg London

Just Click on Covers to order from Amazon. 


Sowed to Death (Farmer’s Daughter Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in the Series
Setting – Michigan
Berkley (July 4, 2017)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0425282038
Kindle ASIN: B01M22OR6W

 

 

The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

You just can’t go wrong with a book by Peg Cochran. I have read almost all of them and doing my best to catch up on those I have missed.

In Sowed to Death  farmer/blogger Shelby McDonald is getting ready for the county fair. She is entering her jams and jellies and her son is participating in the an horse riding event. Both are hoping to come home with blue ribbons. The firemen are also demonstrating the Jaws of Life, something I am very familiar with as it was that device the extracted me from my van after my accident.  Their demonstration takes a foul turn when it is discovered that there is a real body in the car, not the dummy the firefighters had placed there. The body turns out to be Zeke Barnstable. Because Shelby’s neighbor, Jake, is a fireman and he and Zeke had a disagreement the police decide he is the prime suspect. Shelby knows she is going to dig up every suspect she can to prove her friend’s innocence even if that puts her in the line of fire.

This was a delightful read. These characters are people I would be friends with in real life. Shelby is a single mom raising 2 children but she has help from her deceased husband’s brother and several other friends, including fireman Jake. Two men that what to be as close to Shelby as possible but understand she is still getting over her husband’s death. I also love that she is a blogger and the way the author includes her posts right along with the story allowing Shelby to communicate directly with us, her “readers”.

The story really flows well and Shelby’s children, Billy and Amelia, play crucial roles in the mystery. One makes a dreadful discovery and one is danger as the story climaxes. As a mom, I would have totally freaked out and Shelby does but she turns into one hell of a fighter.

I enjoy the way Ms. Cochran writes. She is very descriptive making the story easy to visualize without going to far. She lets her characters continue to evolve naturally and realistically.  The mystery is filled plenty of twists and has not only drama/action but humor and a bit of romance too. Everything I love about cozy mysteries is found within these pages. A Must Read!!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Thanks to the publisher I have 2 copies to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
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Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End July 26, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Jul 062017
 

Cold Hearted River: A Sean Stranahan Mystery
Mystery
6th in Series
Setting Montana/Wyoming/Michigan
Viking (July 4, 2017)
Hardcover: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525429609
Kindle ASIN: B01N3L0Z8U

 

 

When a woman goes missing in a spring snowstorm and is found dead in a bear’s den, Sheriff Martha Ettinger reunites with her once-again lover Sean Stranahan to investigate. In a pannier of the dead woman’s horse, they find a wallet of old trout flies, the leather engraved with the initials EH. Only a few days before, Patrick Willoughby, the president of the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club, had been approached by a man selling fishing gear that he claimed once belonged to Ernest Hemingway. A coincidence? Sean doesn’t think so, and he soon finds himself on the trail of a stolen trunk rumored to contain not only the famous writer’s valuable fly fishing gear but priceless pages of unpublished work.

The investigation will take Sean through extraordinary chapters in Hemingway’s life. Inspired by a true story, Cold Hearted River is a thrilling adventure, moving from Montana to Michigan, where a woman grapples with the secrets in her heart, to a cabin in Wyoming under the Froze To Death Plateau, and finally to the ruins in Havana, where an old man struggles to complete his life’s mission one true sentence at a time.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Again the author draws on history for the theme of this story.  Apparently Ernest Hemingway was quite the fisherman and had a trunk of tackle go missing when traveling West. When a wallet of fishing flies with EH engraved on it is found near a suspicious death and the president of the Madison River Liars and Fly Tiers Club is contacted about fishing gear said to belong to Hemingway Sean seems to think the events are connected. He is then hired to track down the items rumored to belong to the author. This takes him not only around the Montana/Wyoming area but all the way to Michigan and beyond. All to find the truth.

I love these characters, they are very believable and have become like dear friends. Sean and Martha have found their way back to each other which doesn’t make his former girlfriend very happy. I think the relationship may continue to be in flux as they are both very independent people, with Martha being very opinionated and strong willed while Sean seems to go with the flow.  I love their dialogue with each other. I am anxious to see their story pan out.

The book starts with a heart-wrenching telling of 2 people trapped in a storm that brings a search party out. I was captivated immediately.  I really enjoyed this story and the way Mr. McCafferty weaves Hemingway’s history right into this current day story. It takes many twists and turns as each new clue is uncovered. I do love the way this author writes, his laid back style, he is a very descriptive writer. This time I felt we were covering the same places more than once with the same details so it dragged just a little bit for me in places but enough to ever stop reading. I was totally taken by surprise at the ending. Hook, Line, and Sinker, put me in the net. The last twist, priceless. I was right there with Martha as Sean told her what happened.

A mystery, some history, drama, and romance makes this an enjoyable escape.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Keith McCafferty is the Survival and Outdoor Skills Editor of Field & Stream. He has written articles for publications as diverse as Fly Fisherman Magazine, Mother Earth News, Gray’s Sporting Journal and the Chicago Tribune, and on subjects ranging from mosquitoes to wolves to mercenaries and exorcism. Based in Montana and working on assignment around the globe–he recently spent a month in India trekking the Himalayas, fishing for golden mahseer and studying tigers–Keith has won numerous awards, including the Robert Traver Award for angling literature. He has twice been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Find out more about Keith and his books on his webpage here.


Now Available

 

Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

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Contest Will End JULY 20, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
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Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

May 312017
 

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I am so excited to have Meg Macy here today for a visit!!

 

Escape with Meg Macy and Her Teddy Bears

 

One would think Meg Macy has loved teddy bears since childhood. Not so! She slept with Jerry the Mouse (of Tom and Jerry) every night. Her love of teddy bears was born as an adult, when Meg visited England. On a visit to Harrods’s, she picked up a Paddington Bear toy and read the tag – “Please look after this bear”. Paddy looked ready for a new adventure to the States, so she tucked him into her suitcase. From there, the bears began to multiply (like rabbits) until she had a houseful. While Meg’s daughter had fun playing with all the bears (and bunnies), she now serves as a beta reader for Mom’s ‘Shamelessly Adorable’ Teddy Bear cozy mysteries for Kensington.

Meg and her daughter often escape every year on a trip around Michigan. (Meg’s husband often tags along, too, depending on his schedule.) Mackinac Island is a favorite for overnight stays at various bed-and-breakfasts – check out the Haan and Metevier Inn websites. Meg and her family love walking along Main Street or renting bikes to ride around the island. The downtown souvenir shops are always fun, as are visiting the Butterfly House, seeing the Grand Hotel, watching the ferries come and go. Meg will even take a day trip to the island if they can’t spend the night. And she’s often found adorable teddy bears, artwork, and teacups in boutiques there for her collections.

Other favorite spots to escape are Ann Arbor’s Tea Haus, Sweet Afton’s tea room in Plymouth, Saugatuck’s Ida Red’s (for breakfast) and Pumpernickel’s (for lunch) plus the art galleries and unique shops. Meg loves Point Betsie and other lighthouse along the Lake Michigan coastline. All of these places serve as inspiration for her writing. She loves studying maps when she can’t escape the house.

For Silver Hollow, the setting of her new series, Meg took bits of one small town and blended in a few others in Southeastern Michigan. Pinterest is another escape – she loves to trawl for new photos to pin to her ‘Rare Teddy Bears’ board, along with what the Silver Bear Shop & Factory interior might look like.

Details, details – for Meg, that’s what makes any book fun to read!

One more escape – springtime means the Malice Domestic author and reader convention. Meg enjoys the author panels, meeting readers, and sharing stories about writing with other authors. Meg is also one-half of the D.E. Ireland team (along with Sharon Farrow) writing the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mysteries, and they have been thrilled to be a finalist (twice!) in the Best Historical category.

Meg is thrilled to see how readers enjoy Bearly Departed and will be hosting a book launch event at her local library on June 6th, plus signing books around the area through the summer. She also plans on attending Bouchercon in Toronto later this year – yet another escape, and out of the country to Canada! She recently found a maple leaf bear when visiting Agawa Canyon. And one day, Meg plans to return to England for a Palace Guard teddy bear to keep Paddy company back home in Michigan.

After all, “it’s nice having a bear about the house.” (Michael Bond, A Bear Called Paddington) The more, the merrier!

~Meg

Thank you Meg for stopping by today! 


Bearly Departed (A Teddy Bear Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
New Series
Setting – Michigan
Kensington (May 30, 2017)
Paperback: 288 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1496709639
E-Book ASIN: B01LJKQI7I

The Silver Bear Shop and Factory might be the cutest place around, but there’s nothing warm and fuzzy about murder . . .

As manager of the family teddy bear shop and factory, thirty-one-year-old Sasha Silverman leads a charmed life. Well, except for the part about being a single divorcée with a ticking biological clock in small-town Silver Hollow. And that’s just kid’s stuff compared to Will Taylor, the sales rep who’s set on making drastic changes to the business her parents built from scratch—with or without Sasha’s approval . . .

But before Will digs his claws in, someone pulls the stuffing out of his plan . . . and leaves his dead body inside the factory. Reeling from shock, Sasha’s hit with more bad news—police suspect her hot-tempered Uncle Ross may have murdered him. Sasha knows her uncle would never do such a thing, and she’s launching her own little investigation to expose the truth. As she tracks Will’s biggest rivals and enemies for clues, Sasha can’t get too comfy—or she’ll become the next plaything for a killer . . .

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Things at The Silver Bear Shop and Factory are not “beary” delightful. After the sales manager Will Taylor announces manufacturing of the teddies will be moving overseas the staff is in uproar. Especially Sasha, Maddie and their Uncle Ross. The girl’s parents started this business and have basically retired and have left the shop and factory in their hands. Their parents/brother never would do something so major without talking to them first.

Before they can even contact their father Sasha and Maddie find Will’s dead body next to the stuffing machine. To make matters worse the police have pegged Uncle Ross as the prime suspect. Seems his threats to Will were taken seriously by some people. The factory and store are shut down, the upcoming teddy bear parade may have to be cancelled, her uncle may soon be behind bars and her parents are not returning their calls. Sasha just can’t bear any more drama so she starts investigating on her own not realizing she may be the next “bearly departed”.

This was a fabulous read.

The Silver Bear Shop and Factory sounds like such a fun place. I know there is a national chain that allows you to stuff you own teddies and other creatures but The Silver Bear Shops sells a very unique bear. Also Maddie and Sasha make a great team, creative to think of all sorts of events to coordinate with the seasons and holidays drawing visitors to Silver Hollow.

Macy has created a charming cast of characters. Sasha is divorced but her ex has moved back to Silver Hollow bringing a bit of added drama. She is a very determined woman and very loyal to her family and their business. Maddie takes care of the office work, paying bills, working with vendors, and the financial reports. She also has a very creative side. Uncle Ross runs the factory and can be a little prickly but like his brother, the girl’s father, he is a real teddy bear behind all the bluster. Their mother is a little tougher and ready for life to slow down. We also meet their employees and other shopkeepers like Will’s wife. Being the first book in the series the author has left plenty of room for the characters grown in future installments.

The author has written a tale with a number of twists. The clue that seemed to be missed by the police was one I grabbed onto and was pleasantly surprised that I was right about its relevance.  I was still surprised by the way the story played out.

Meg Macy has penned a wonderful debut for this series. It checks all my boxes for an absolutely perfect escape. I can “bearly” wait for my next visit to Silver Hollow. Bear Witness to Murder will be released in 2018.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Award-winning mystery author Meg Macy lives in Southeast Michigan, close to Ann Arbor, Chelsea, and Dexter — the area she chose for the setting of her new “Shamelessly Adorable Teddy Bear” cozy mystery series for Kensington. She is also one-half of the writing team of D.E. Ireland for the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery series; two books have been named Agatha Award finalists. Meg’s first published book, Double Crossing, won the 2012 Best First Novel Spur Award from Western Writers of America. She’s a graduate of Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program. Meg loves reading mysteries, historicals, and other genre fiction, and also enjoys gardening, crafts, and watercolor painting.

Author Links:      www.megmacy.com      Meg Macy – Teddy Bear Cozy Mysteries      Meg Macy on Twitter


Thanks to the author I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Leave a comment for the author for 5 Bonus Entries.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 14, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Ginger Snapped: A Spice Shop Mystery by Gail Oust Buy Today!
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